The Lynx Group

October 2020, Vol 11, No 5

At the July 2020 AACR virtual meeting on COVID-19 and cancer, Solange Peters, MD, PhD, European Society for Medical Oncology President, and Head, Medical Oncology Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland, delivered the keynote address, providing an update on the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium cohort study.
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The urgent international push to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus represents an unprecedented effort, said experts at the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care’s final summer webinar on COVID-19 and cancer care, which was held August 27
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Adding the oral cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4/CDK6 inhibitor abemaciclib (Verzenio) to endocrine therapy led to a significant reduction in the risk for invasive disease recurrence versus endocrine therapy alone in patients with high-risk hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative early-stage breast cancer, according to findings from the phase 3 monarchE clinical trial. The results were presented at the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) virtual meeting and were featured at the meeting press conference.
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Disparities in cancer care remains a public health challenge in the United States, despite some strides in reducing these disparities, according to a new report from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) that was released in a virtual presentation on September 16, 2020. Furthermore, many of the populations affected by cancer care disparities are the ones affected by disparities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, AACR experts said.
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“COVID-19 is more than just the common cold. It represents a perpetual challenge for which we have to be perpetually prepared,” stated Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD), in his keynote lecture at the July 2020 AACR virtual meeting on COVID-19 and cancer. Dr Fauci has been Director of NIAD for 36 years.
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One question on oncologists’ minds these days is whether treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors in patients with cancer has a negative effect on COVID-19 disease. So far, the data have not shown a deleterious effect, but the definitive answer is unknown. In fact, some experts think immune checkpoint inhibitors may have a positive effect on COVID-19.
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On September 4, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of pralsetinib (Gavreto; Blueprint Medicines/Genentech), an oral RET inhibitor, for the treatment of adults with metastatic non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and RET-activating fusions, as detected by an FDA-approved test.
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On August 5, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of belantamab mafodotin-blmf (Blenrep; GlaxoSmithKline), a B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed antibody and microtubule inhibitor conjugate, for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who have received ≥4 previous therapies, including an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody, a proteasome inhibitor, and an immunomodulatory agent.
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On July 31, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of tafasitamab-cxix (Monjuvi; Incyte/MorphoSys US), a CD19-directed cytolytic antibody, in combination with lenalidomide (Revlimid) for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) not otherwise specified, including DLBCL arising from low-grade lymphoma, who are not eligible for autologous stem-cell transplant.
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On July 24, 2020, the FDA accelerated the approval of brexucabtagene autoleucel (Tecartus; Kite Pharma), a CAR T-cell therapy, for the treatment of adults with mantle-cell lymphoma (MCL) whose disease has not responded to or has relapsed after other therapies. Brexucabtagene autoleucel is the first gene therapy FDA-approved specifically for the treatment of patients with MCL, a rare type of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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